Being in charge of a great many things related to technology at the Applied Research Center, I wind up in some fairly geeky places including, database conferences like Dreamforce 2009. But one thing on the conference agenda caught my eye — a special appearance by retired General Colin Powell giving a talk on “Leadership in the New Era of Collaboration.” I know calling General Powell a war criminal is a little over the top, but I think of it like this: a few foxes come up to my farmhouse and say, “Hey, there’s a problem with your chickens. Let us take care of it, and you’ll have all the eggs you need.” Most people would stop to ask a few questions of the foxes. And so came George W. Bush and the other Iraqi war architects to General Powell. General Powell’s 11th hour endorsement and defense of Barack Obama during last year’s election notwithstanding, what kind of “leadership in the new era of collaboration” was going to the United Nations with absolutely fabricated justifications for invading Iraq? This is just too easy. Did General Powell show any kind of “collaboration” while helping to force the Iraqi occupation and “Coalition of the Willing” on to the United Nations and the rest of the world? Sure, I’m beating a dead horse here (to keep the farmhouse metaphors alive), but I think it’s a point worth remembering: the same people who blazed a trail of destruction and suffering are now still sought after for their professional opinions on things like “leadership.” It appears as if old GOP figureheads really don’t fade away, they just go in to (de)motivational speaking.